In Australia, which ranks ninth among 44 countries, rising sea levels pose a threat to coastal cities, and, as a result, the many retirees who live in them. It's a problem for many countries, including the U.S.

In Australia, which ranks ninth among 44 countries, rising sea levels pose a threat to coastal cities, and, as a result, the many retirees who live in them. It's a problem for many countries, including the U.S.

In many countries, aging populations are outnumbering their younger, working populations, resulting in more people drawing from national, Social Security-type systems and fewer workers paying into them.

This isn’t the only concern for retirees around the world. A recent analysis by Natixis says three global risks – low interest rates, longer lifespans and the high cost of climate change – threaten the security of older populations and long-term global sustainability around the world, posing challenges to policy makers.

  • Low interest rates make it hard to save or generate retirement income;
  • Demographics show that the burden is on a smaller, younger generation to support a longer-living older population;
  • The costs and risks of climate change are increasing — 40% of the world’s population, or 2.4 billion people, live within 60 miles of the coast. Thinking of retiring to the beach? Thousands of coastal homes are threatened in the U.S. alone, insurance rates are rising, and extreme heat has increased the risk of illness among older adults.

So where, after a life of work, can retirees hope to live with some security and dignity?

To answer the question, the Global Retirement Index, a yearly report by Natixis Investment Managers, examines 18 factors which influence retiree welfare in the areas of finances in retirement, material wellbeing, health, and quality of life. The result is a composite score that provides a comparative tool for evaluating retirement security in 44 of the most developed countries around the world.

The key aspects for welfare in retirement in this ranking include:

  • Health — this includes life expectancy and health care costs;
  • Material well being — such as income, income equality and unemployment,
  • Finances — including the soundness of a country’s financial system, the level of returns to savings and investment, taxes, real estate, and old-age dependence, among other factors;
  • Quality of life/environment — this includes happiness, the natural environment, air and water quality, a country’s protection of its ecosystem, and other environmental factors that affect quality of life.

Read on to see where the U.S. falls in this ranking of retirement security in the world's developed countries. Based on the Natixis Global Retirement Index, these are the best countries for retirees.

Iceland's Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bath resort.

Iceland's Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bath resort.

The Best Countries for Retirees:

1. Iceland

  • Global Retirement Index: 83%
  • Health Index: 85%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 72%
  • Quality of Life Index: 86%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 91%
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland

2. Switzerland

  • Global Retirement Index: 83%
  • Health Index: 88%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 77%
  • Quality of Life Index: 91%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 78%
Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway

3. Norway

  • Global Retirement Index: 80%
  • Health Index: 90%
  • Finances in Retirement Index:59%
  • Quality of Life Index: 90%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 86%
Dublin

Dublin

4. Ireland

  • Global Retirement Index: 78%
  • Health Index: 87%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 72%
  • Quality of Life Index: 83%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 71%

Ireland advanced to No. 4 from No. 14 two years ago due to an improved score in the health category, driven primarily by the country’s higher per capita health spending. Ireland also made improvements in bank nonperforming loans and government indebtedness.

Cathedral Cove, Hahei, New Zealand

Cathedral Cove, Hahei, New Zealand

5. New Zealand

  • Global Retirement Index: 78%
  • Health Index: 83%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 79%
  • Quality of Life Index: 89%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 62%
Malmo, Sweden

Malmo, Sweden

6. Sweden

  • Global Retirement Index: 77%
  • Health Index: 88%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 65%
  • Quality of Life Index: 89%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 72%
Copenhagen

Copenhagen

7. Denmark

  • Global Retirement Index: 77%
  • Health Index: 85%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 60%
  • Quality of Life Index: 93%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 75%
Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City, Canada

8. Canada

  • Global Retirement Index: 77%
  • Health Index: 87%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 73%
  • Quality of Life Index: 82%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 68%
Australia's Wave Rock

Australia's Wave Rock

9. Australia

  • Global Retirement Index: 77%
  • Health Index: 85%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 77%
  • Quality of Life Index: 81%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 66%
Luxembourg

Luxembourg

10. Luxembourg

  • Global Retirement Index: 76%
  • Health Index: 91%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 60%
  • Quality of Life Index: 83%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 74%
Netherlands

Netherlands

11. Netherlands

  • Global Retirement Index: 76%
  • Health Index: 87%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 57%
  • Quality of Life Index: 82%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 82%
Finland

Finland

12. Finland

  • Global Retirement Index: 75%
  • Health Index: 83%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 62%
  • Quality of Life Index: 92%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 68%
Germany

Germany

13. Germany

  • Global Retirement Index: 75%
  • Health Index: 85%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 56%
  • Quality of Life Index: 82%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 79%
Prague

Prague

14. Czech Republic

  • Global Retirement Index: 75%
  • Health Index: 72%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 69%
  • Quality of Life Index: 75%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 83%
Cafe Central, Vienna

Cafe Central, Vienna

15. Austria

  • Global Retirement Index: 74%
  • Health Index: 84%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 54%
  • Quality of Life Index: 87%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 75%
Jerusalem

Jerusalem

16. Israel

  • Global Retirement Index: 73%
  • Health Index: 79%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 70%
  • Quality of Life Index: 77%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 66%
United Kingdom

United Kingdom

17. United Kingdom

  • Global Retirement Index: 72%
  • Health Index: 83%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 56%
  • Quality of Life Index: 85%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 69%
Palm Desert, Calif.

Palm Desert, Calif.

18. United States

  • Global Retirement Index: 72%
  • Health Index: 86%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 71%
  • Quality of Life Index: 76%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 58%

The U.S. has moved down two spots since last year. Americans are less happy, according to the report, and rising income inequality affects these scores.

Piran, Slovenia

Piran, Slovenia

19. Slovenia

  • Global Retirement Index: 71%
  • Health Index: 79%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 65%
  • Quality of Life Index: 71%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 72%
Malta

Malta

20. Malta

  • Global Retirement Index: 71%
  • Health Index: 75%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 66%
  • Quality of Life Index: 68%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 76%
Belgium

Belgium

21. Belgium

  • Global Retirement Index: 71%
  • Health Index: 83%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 51%
  • Quality of Life Index: 80%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 73%
Marseille, France

Marseille, France

22. France

  • Global Retirement Index: 70%
  • Health Index: 89%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 55%
  • Quality of Life Index: 81%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 61%
Japan

Japan

23. Japan

  • Global Retirement Index: 70%
  • Health Index: 90%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 55%
  • Quality of Life Index: 68%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 72%

Japan has the lowest score for old-age dependency, a measure of the number of active workers compared to the number of retirees. With the highest life expectancy but low fertility rates, Japan has a very small proportion of working-age individuals supporting those in retirement. This reflects a broader trend affecting many developed economies, the report says.

South Korea

South Korea

24. South Korea

  • Global Retirement Index: 68%
  • Health Index: 72%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 75%
  • Quality of Life Index: 53%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 74%
Slovakia

Slovakia

25. Slovak Republic

  • Global Retirement Index: 67%
  • Health Index: 64%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 67%
  • Quality of Life Index: 69%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 68%
Estonia

Estonia

26. Estonia

  • Global Retirement Index: 67%
  • Health Index: 65%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 71%
  • Quality of Life Index: 69%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 62%
Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, Poland

27. Poland

  • Global Retirement Index: 66%
  • Health Index: 63%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 66%
  • Quality of Life Index: 65%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 68%
Singapore

Singapore

28. Singapore

  • Global Retirement Index: 64%
  • Health Index: 77%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 79%
  • Quality of Life Index: 52%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 52%
Portugal

Portugal

29. Portugal

  • Global Retirement Index: 64%
  • Health Index: 75%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 61%
  • Quality of Life Index: 66%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 55%
Italy

Italy

30. Italy

  • Global Retirement Index: 63%
  • Health Index: 81%
  • Finances in Retirement Index: 53%
  • Quality of Life Index: 73%
  • Material Wellbeing Index: 51%

For more about this ranking, see the full Natixis Global Retirement Index here.